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Welcome to the St Paul’s Girls’ School bursary programme. We hope you can find all the information you need within these pages, but if you can’t, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer your questions as quickly as possible.
I would strongly recommend you attend one of our bursary events, as there, you will be able to talk to people who are current students in the school and the staff who administer the programme in order to discover more about it.
Please don’t think that only families who require 100% support should apply; we finance the education of students from 5% of fee remission upwards. The scheme also includes lots of extras, such as school trips, travel expenses for work experience, and even help with your leavers’ ball ticket!
Please come and see us as we’d be very happy to talk to you about becoming a bursary student at our school.
Mrs Lizzie Beesley, Deputy Head and Director of Pastoral Care
If you have further questions please contact
Deputy Head and Director of Pastoral Care
PA to the Bursar
“When we applied for a bursary at St Paul’s Girls’ School, we had no idea that our daughter would be awarded one. It started with a 16+ entrance exam followed by an interview for our daughter with the Admissions Officer. We then applied for a bursary. The process started with an email from the Bursar’s office requesting the necessary documents and financial statements. It was really straightforward to provide and submit all the paperwork. After that was received by the school, we were then visited at home by the School Bursar and the Head of Sixth Form to discuss our situation. We were guided throughout the process in a respectful way that made us feel comfortable, as we had never done this before and giving out personal information can be daunting. All that aside, the impact of being awarded a bursary has been life-changing for our daughter. She has been given so many amazing opportunities and experiences that we are so grateful for. We would never have been able to finance our daughter’s place at St Paul’s Girls’ School without the bursary. For her to be awarded it meant that she could get the best education possible, something that has always been very important to us.”
Parents of Class of 2022 Paulina
“It was a shock to my family when I lost my job three years into my daughter’s education at St Paul’s. I initially contacted the Bursar to see if I could delay paying fees whilst I was searching for new work and it was only after a very sympathetic conversation with Ms Ng, the Bursar’s PA, that I found out I was eligible for a hardship bursary. There are not enough words to describe the relief that followed. In an ideal world, before I retire, I will earn enough to donate back to the bursary programme to help a future Paulina. The added bonus to St Paul’s bursary programme is having the [former] Bursar and his PA understand what it is like to be working class and the struggle with affording private education. Time and time again, Ms Ng spoke to me without any condescension and checked in on a termly basis to see if my daughter needed any additional support as well as how my job search was going. The humility and empathy she demonstrated to me over the years made it easy to pick up the phone and ask for more help.”
Parent of Class of 2021 Paulina
“I was initially against applying to St Paul’s Girls’ School as my wife and I did not want our daughter to be labelled the poor one from a council estate. In our neighbourhood, many told me don’t go to SPGS because it was all rich girls who are chauffeur-driven to the school gates. That is 100% false. My daughter was extremely shy before she joined and now has made so many friends, involved with the school community and is proud to be a bursary student. She has become so confident because of the opportunities that St Paul’s has given her. It all started with a bursary award.”
Parent of a current Paulina
“Without a bursary, my daughter could not receive an education at St Paul’s. She will be the first in our family to go to university and to become somebody who will hopefully give back to others. It is not easy asking for help because of the fear of being called a charity case but not once did the school ever make my family feel second rate to those who can afford fees.”
Parent of a current Paulina
“Because my daughter was blessed with a 100% bursary, I was able to save up for two big trips during her seven years at St Pauls – Pompeii and Beijing. Although there was some additional support for trips, I wanted to contribute in my own way because the truth was, neither my husband nor I could afford any family holidays abroad. So, my daughter got to visit countries that she would never have had the opportunity to do so and then she ended up learning Mandarin because she loved China so much!”
Parent of Class of 2018 Paulina
“I can’t express enough how much the bursary throughout the years has meant to me. It is undeniable that an education at this school has completely changed the trajectory of my life. The bursary team has been the most helpful with additional financial support for all the other wonderful experiences I’ve had at SPGS, from school trips abroad to science courses. I count myself very lucky that they were there to look after us.”
Former Head of School Team and Class of 2022, Mikal S
“I am so happy that I’ve been able to contribute to the community at least a little and am only excited for what is going to happen next. Thank you, and Mrs Beesley also, for being the driving force on the staff side, and truly enabling and paving out a space within the school system for bursary issues and initiatives! I can’t wait to come back to SPGS (pretty frequently, most likely) and catch up on everything.”
Class of 2022, Soryoung H
Below are some frequently asked questions about the SPGS bursary scheme. We hope they are helpful, but if you have further questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail email@example.com for advice and help.
Please also look at the short video from Lizzie Beesley, which gives advice on how to complete the bursary form.
Q: Is there a minimum income for applying for a bursary?
There is no minimum income. Please do watch the application process video for further information.
Q: Is every bursary worth 100% of the fees?
No, we award from 5% of the overall fee upwards
Q: Can bursaries change if families encounter financial difficulties, such as during the pandemic?
Yes, awards can be augmented according to individual needs.
Q: If we own a house, are we automatically excluded from applying?
No, absolutely not. We assess every case individually and having a house does not prevent a bursary being awarded. However, in the case of owning several additional properties, this will most likely mean you are not eligible for a bursary. Please contact Debbie Ng for further guidance if this applies to you.
Q: Is every student tutored before the 11+ exams?
No, and we recognise that those applying for a bursary place might not have had the educational privileges of some of their peers. We are looking for natural potential, in the interview and the exam. You do not need to come into school for your exam in your school uniform either if you feel self-conscious: ordinary, comfortable clothes are absolutely fine. We are also preparing online seminars that concentrate on what the exams and interviews entail. They will be appearing here soon.
Q: What does the home visit involve? How do we get around the language barrier which may occur in some families?
The home visit is not part of the selection process but is a means of assessing whether the home environment is suitable for the student to study and whether the school may need to consider supplying laptops, printers, etc., to help the student with doing homework. Each home visit is carried out by the Bursar and relevant Head of Year.
Q: As St Paul’s has no uniform, do the bursary students stand out because they might not have high fashion clothes?
In Years 7-11 students tend to wear the school P.E. kit, so everybody looks the same. (The school provides this for bursary students.) Otherwise, students tend to wear comfortable, casual clothes, practical for a day’s work – you can wear anything!
Q: Will the school pay for trips, extra-curricular opportunities, in short for the extras which are on top of the normal fees?
Yes it will. We are fortunate to have a reserve of money, albeit limited, which can be given to bursary students for exciting projects in which they would like to participate. The contact to ask for extra funding is Debbie Ng.
Q: Will I fit in as a bursary student, and what about the experience of St Paul’s for my parents?
Yes, please watch the videos by our current students, which make this inclusion really clear. As for parents, parents’ evenings are pretty informal and just like other schools’, with lots of queueing! We are currently looking at ways of getting bursary parents more involved: inviting them for tours and social events, as well as ensuring that they feel comfortable when interacting with all aspects of St Paul’s. By putting them in touch with parents who speak the same language this ensures greater familiarity with the school’s systems and ethos.
Q: Are students organised so that they can travel to and from school with others from the same area?
We have school buses to north London and south west London – see more information here and forms in Year 7 are organised, in part, according to location, so that students from the same area can travel together. For the first weeks, we will pair older students with new students, so that they can ask questions on the way to and from school and help themselves to integrate in this manner too.
Q: If I receive a bursary, will everyone in the school be aware of it?
In short, no. There are very few members of staff who have that financial information but, overall, it is not a confidential system and we want to celebrate our bursary students, not hide them away! If you win an award, you should be proud of yourself and your achievement! You have as much right to be at St Paul’s as anyone else and that should be celebrated and we would encourage you and your parents to be open about your status.
Q: What percentage of the school population currently is in receipt of a bursary?
It is currently about 12% but we are seeking to increase that to 20% in as short as time as possible.